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New Covenant International Church (Berith Hadasha Kehila Bilomit) in Tel Aviv is an Ethiopian International Messianic congregation. Ps Gabi Bezuneh is of Ethiopian Jewish origin. His family came to Israel via Sudan in 1982. In 2013, he was very sick and went to a church seeking healing and the Lord graciously healed him. As a result, he received Yeshua as his personal Saviour. In 2016, he co-founded the congregation together with Ps Robel Woldechirkos, who was raised in a Christian family but has a great love and burden for the Jewish people. Robel established the Dorcas Vision (www.dorcasvision.org) and began a prayer group to pray for Israel and the Jews in Ethiopia.


The congregation has 43 members, but as the meeting place is on the 4th floor, some are unable to climb the stairs. The services are both in Amharic (the native tongue of Ethiopia) and Hebrew. 95% of the church members are Jews, with some Ethiopian and Eritrean refugees and one Arabic Muslim woman attending. Most of the congregants were saved through street preaching and one-on-one witnessing. Their desire is to see the Jewish people saved (Rom 10:1-3) and already 22 new souls have been baptised in the Jordan River.


In their church they have music and vocal training for the worship team. They have youth and children's ministries, with a Sunday school class for the children. The church runs a holistic ministry to single-parent children, orphans and street children. They have zero funds for this ministry and are praying for a financial breakthrough.


Ethiopian Jews (Beta Israel – house of Israel) believe they are from the tribe of Dan and trace their heritage back to the Queen of Sheba. They lived in an isolated area of Sudan and northern Ethiopia, today known as the Gondar region. They retained Jewish customs such as keeping Shabbat, circumcision and dietary laws. Operation Moses in 1984 flew 7,000 to Israel and in 1991 Operation Solomon used 34 aircraft, with seats removed, to fly 14,300 Jews to safety in 36 hours amidst rebel attacks on Addis Ababa. There are currently about 140,000 Ethiopian Jews in Israel.


In 2017, a quota of 1,300 Jewish Ethiopians migrated to Israel. Those left behind are generally the believers who are not considered Jews because they have ‘converted’ to Christianity. There are some 9,000 Falasha Mura (a derogatory term meaning ‘stranger’) in Ethiopia, whose Jewish ancestors converted to Christianity. Under the Law of Return, those who do migrate are forced to convert to Orthodox Judaism upon arrival. The Falasha Mura generally lack education, basic Hebrew and work skills, so come ill-equipped to assimilate into modern Israeli life. About 80% of them cannot find work, so they are the poorest people-group in Israel.



Day 18: Wednesday Sept 26